Hack Tuke, Daniel – Sickness - Bruising induced by powerful emotions – Fear
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
As described in Illustrations Of The Influence Of The Mind Upon The Body In Health And Disease, Designed To Elucidate The Action Of The Imagination - Daniel Hack Tuke, M.D., M.R.C.P.,
PART II. THE EMOTIONS.
CHAPTER IX. INFLUENCE OF THE EMOTIONS UPON THE INVOLUNTARY MUSCLES.
A very interesting example of a local affection, caused by an excited imagination, is reported by Tissot, on the authority of Hoffmann.
A man believed that he saw and was seized by a spectre, and was terribly frightened. One of his feet immediately became red and swollen, and afterwards suppurated. He became also convulsed and delirious. It is not stated distinctly whether he fancied the spectre seized him by the affected foot. If such was the case, the narrative would derive additional interest from the circumstance that the site of the bodily affection was determined by, and corresponded to, the locality imaged in the mind. The fact, in any case, remains, that fright produced inflammation and suppuration of one of the feet (Annales Medico-Psychologiques. Edited by Baillarger, Cerise, et Longet, Sept., 1865, p. 164). The same authority records the case of a young man who was thrown into a passion, upon which his left ankle became swollen and painful. The knee also was similarly affected afterwards.
Fear during sleep is stated to have caused local inflammation corresponding with the image present in the mind in a dream. In the " Bibliotheque choisie de Medecine," by Planque, tome vi, p. 103, is the following case :
A man, thirty years of age, healthy and robust, saw in a dream a Pole with a stone in his hand, which he threw at his breast. The vivid shock awoke him, and then he found that there was on his chest (dans le meme endroit) a round mark, having the appearance of a bruise. Next day there was so much swelling, &c, that a surgeon was requested to see it, who, fearing a slough, scarified the part, and relieved it. The wound healed in a short time. Without more definite information it would not be safe to build a theory upon this case, but looking at the previous one of the spectre, and others equally well authenticated, there appears no reason to doubt that the dream and the inflammatory action of the skin stood in the relation of cause and effect. Had there been anything incredible in the dream acting as a cause, we might have thought it possible that the man had unawares received a blow, the previous day, in the region of the bruise and that it had suggested the dream. Its admission as evidence must then be determined by the authenticity of other examples, whether occurring when a person is awake or during sleep.